Terminology of General Muscle Disorders Video

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  • 0:01 MY/O & Muscle
  • 0:20 Myocele, Myolysis, Myalgia
  • 1:30 Atrophy, Myorrhexis,…
  • 3:48 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Artem Cheprasov
You may be strong, but your muscles are not invincible! They can only take so much before they break down, herniate or do other wild and crazy things. This lesson will uncover some terminology of general muscle disorders.

My/o Muscle

My/o is a combining form that means muscle. It's going to be used a ton throughout our lesson as we go over a bunch of different general muscle disorders that can affect muscle tissue. We'll describe different people along the way to learn about these conditions, all of who are more likely to be afflicted with them. Let's start!

Myocele, Myolysis, Myalgia

Our first term is myalgia, or muscle pain, where '-algia' means pain. I think of algae writhing in pain to help me remember that suffix. Who can get myalgia? Well, athletes for sure, from repetitive strain injuries or muscle cramps, of course. But think back to the last time you had a bad flu. Didn't you have some muscle pain, too? So there are a wide variety of causes of myalgia.

Athletes may also get what's known as a sports hernia. Technically it's called a myocele, the herniation (protrusion) of muscle through its sheath, where '-cele' means hernia. It's sort of like how the meat of a grape can protrude through its thick surrounding skin if it's torn, a muscle can pop through a tear in the sheath as well.

Severe athletic exertion, people in serious traumas, like car accidents, and those in survival conditions in extreme temperatures can experience myolysis, the degeneration of muscle, where -lysis means dissolution or degeneration. This shouldn't be confused with myomalacia, the abnormal softening of a muscle, where -malacia refers to the pathological softening of something.

Atrophy, Myorrhexis, Polymyositis

And that term shouldn't be confused with muscle atrophy, the decrease in size of once normally developed and sized muscle. There is a specific form of muscle atrophy called sarcopenia, which means the loss of skeletal muscle mass, as well as strength and function, related to aging. 'Sarco-' refers to the flesh or muscular substance, and '-penia' is a deficiency. Think -penia is pretty close to penny, and those who only have pennies are deficient in money!

Besides the elderly, who else may experience muscle atrophy? Well, someone who is injured and unable to use a limb for any reason will experience muscle atrophy. Basically, muscle atrophy is the deflation of muscle tissue caused by disuse. Muscle needs stimulation to grow, like performing a task such as walking or lifting something. If that stimulation is taken away, the body thinks there's no use for that body part anymore, and muscle atrophy occurs.

Of course, if someone overdoes it on muscular stimulation, like a weightlifter, then they may endure a rupture or tearing of a muscle. This is called myorrhexis, where '-rrhexis' means breaking, splitting or rupturing. To help remember the suffix, I imagine a big dog named Rrhex tearing apart a piece of steak!

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